Minnesota Child Labor Law – Work Restrictions for Employees 16 and Younger

Workers Younger Than 14 Years Old:
Let’s start with the youngest workers. With a few exceptions, minors under the age of 14 may not be employed at all. The exceptions include:

-Minors can be newspaper carriers (but must be at least 11 years old)

-Minors can work in agriculture if they are at least 12 years old and have parental consent. Remember that the only part of the green industry that qualifies as agriculture is work that involves the production and propagation of crop or plant material.

-Minors can be employed as actors or models

-Minors can be referees for youth athletic programs, but must be at least 11 years old and have parental consent.

Time Restrictions for Minors Under 16 Years Old:
Once a minor is 14 years old, they can work for an employer under some strict guidelines about when and where they can perform the work. Keep in mind that these restrictions are cumulative; meaning the restrictions for minors under 18 years old also applies to minors under 16 years old.

-Minors under 16 cannot work before 6am or after 9pm, (newspaper carriers are exempt from this rule)

-Minors under 16 cannot work more than 40 hours a week or more than 8 hours per 24 hour period. Agricultural workers are exempt from this rule.

-During the school year, minors under 16 years may not work later than 7pm; may not work more than 3 hours per day and not more than 18 total hours per week.

-Minors under 16 may not work during school hours on school days unless they have a certificate issued by the school district superintendent authorizing them to work.

Work Restrictions for Minors Under 16 Year Old:
In Addition to the limitations on hours for minors under 16, there are also many restrictions on the type of work and duties that a minor under 16 can perform. These restrictions also apply to minors under the age of 14 to the extent that they are otherwise allowed to work. This list does not include every prohibition, but instead lists the ones that most commonly apply in the green industry. Keep in mind that these prohibitions apply to work being performed as an employee of a business. Nothing listed is meant to imply that minors can’t perform these tasks at home or in other non-employment settings.

Minors under 16 are prohibited from performing the following work:

-operating or assisting in the operation of machinery

-operating power-driven snowblowers, lawn mowers or garden equipment

-operating drill presses, grinders, portable power-driven machinery such as drills, sanders, and polishing and scrubbing equipment

-oiling, cleaning or maintaining any power-driven machinery

-using pits, racks or lifting apparatus at service stations or in mounting tires on rims


-as an outside helper on a motor vehicle.

Minn. Stat. Ch. 181A
Prohibited work: http://www.doli.state.mn.us/LS/ProhibWork.asp
Under 16: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=5200.0920
Under 18: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=5200.0910